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Lone holdout in Melrose debate still weighing options

Posted by Travis Andersen  October 7, 2009 11:00 AM

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Carrie Kourkoumelis.

School Committee hopeful Carrie Kourkoumelis still doesn’t know if she’ll participate in a debate sponsored by the local chapter of the League of Women Voters. She has until Friday to commit.

The chapter will film the debate on Oct. 21. It will air repeatedly on MMTV, the city’s cable access channel. All of the other candidates have signed on.

In a brief phone interview on Tuesday, Kourkoumelis would only say that she hasn’t decided.

“I’ll let you know when I do,” she said.

Kourkoumelis committed early to another forum sponsored by the citizen’s group Melrose Cares and the North Shore Tab, a controversial news blog.

Incumbents Don Lehman and Joe Spinale and candidate Scott Conway declined to participate in that debate, citing the shrill rhetoric on the Tab and Melrose Messages, an online forum where Melrose Cares founder Patricia Wright often posts.

Koukoumelis said last week that “a certain amount of political posturing” drove the opposition to the Melrose Cares/Tab debate, which is scheduled for Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Melrose Middle School audtorium. It is open to the public.

Committee chair Christine Casatelli, up for reelection, and candidate Jean-Daniel LaRock are planning to join Kourkoumelis on stage.

Voters go to the polls on Nov. 3.

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7 comments so far...
  1. Why did the founder of the "Melrose Cares", the online forum, have to be mentioned BY NAME in this story? There is absolutely no good reason! Especially, under the current circumstances in which we find ourselves.
    Her name appears "courtesy" of's Town Correspondent.
    The online MEDIA must also carry some of the blame for making the founder of the online forum, "a household name" here in Melrose.
    Remember to also blame the Globe for their "promotion" of Ms. Wright and her web site!

    Posted by jesse October 7, 09 02:48 PM
  1. I'm flattered Jesse that you skim news articles looking for my name. But perhaps you could focus on the story which is why is Ms. Kourkoumelis taking a thoughtful and cautious approach before committing to the League's debate? All the other candidates jumped in feet first yet Ms. Kourkoumelis has not. If the League is the historically esteemed and revered non partisan organization of Melrose wouldn't it be political suicide not to commit to their debate? Those are the questions that are begged when you read this article....or at least by folks who read for content.

    Posted by patricia wright October 8, 09 08:00 AM
  1. Why would a candidate choose to skip a debate held by a well respected organization like the League of Woman Voters and choose to associate with the crap that is the Melrose Messages board.
    a big NO vote to Ms Kourkoumelis when its voting time.

    Posted by dogstar October 8, 09 11:27 AM
  1. "Remember to also blame the Globe for their "promotion" of Ms. Wright and her web site! " Quoted from Jesse above.
    You are right on target Jesse. Ms. Wright would have no credibility if not for lazy correspondents who use her for biased information and stories instead of doing the right thing and digging for the facts so they can present the real story.

    Posted by J. October 8, 09 04:28 PM
  1. This may come as a surprise, but I don't believe that "political suicide" can happen here. Look at the passive bunch of voters that we have in the city. They don't seek accountability of their politicians. They just go along, go along.
    All they really care about is themselves, AND the continuing of the status quo, AND to be led by the nose on all things of a political nature.
    Do some thinking for themselves?--- Out of the question!
    Fighting for political accountability...Out of the question!....they 've got to go and drive their kid to the sports field!!!

    Posted by jeffrey October 9, 09 06:43 AM
  1. Although we owe a great debt of gratitude for her financial and organizational contributions to the event, I agree that Ms. Wright's name should not have appeared, because she plays no part in the event itself and her outspoken opinions have nothing to do with this forum. This debate will provide Melrose residents the opportunity (first in my experience), to hear candidates respond to questions created and moderated by representatives from all political parties and many sectors of Melrose society, in an unbiased setting. The alternative debate is not open to the public, is organized and orchestrated by a skewed sector of the community (e.g., no Republicans, no educators...) and to date has made no such assurances that it will be free of influence from district administration and city officials (although the question has been asked).

    Posted by Martin October 9, 09 11:36 AM
  1. Yes Jeffrey...the responsibilities of home and family, and our children DO come before political hacks and wanna-be's

    Posted by dogstar October 9, 09 11:45 AM